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Monday, 09 Jul 2012
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CEPA is Expected to Boost India Canada Bilateral Trade   India Canada bilateral trade_ProjectsToday

Jagat Shah_ProjectsToday  

Jagat Shah studied MBA (international trade) graduating from Delhi University & is a certified cluster development practitioner. He is a Chairman -Indo Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) - Gujarat and a certified management consultant (CMC) from ICMCI, USA. He is the Trade & investment commissioner of Manitoba trade & investment, Govt. of Manitoba, Canada in India since last three years. In last 23 years of his career, he has worked on international market strategies with Indian, Canadian, Chinese, American & European companies & governments. Through his ISO certified economic development agency, he has worked with cluster development approach on poverty alleviation & MSME competitiveness with several governments & private sector in 23 countries - India, Canada, China, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, UAE, Oman, RAK, Brunei, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia besides several states in India.


Question_ProjectsTodayWhat are the growth opportunities for Canadian companies in India?


Answer_ProjectsTodayIndia and Canada have longstanding bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, the multi-cultural, multiethnic and multi-religious nature of two societies and strong people-to-people contacts. In recent years, both countries have been working to enhance bilateral. In last decade, India-Canada relations have undergone a "sea change".


Canada is a technology leader in sectors like Energy, Aerospace, Environmental technologies, Medical devices, Mining & minerals, agricultural machinery, building materials, construction technologies, food processing, Hydro electricity, transformers, Biotech, composite materials, ICT, financial services & highly advanced education sector. Some of the cutting edge technologies from Canada are Renewable energy - Bio, Solar & wind, Geotextiles, Water treatment technologies, Green house technologies etc. If you look at opportunities in India, these are exactly the kind of gaps which India has in technology. Therefore, these sectors offer huge opportunities for Canadian businesses in India. Canadian companies need to aggressively set up base in India to encash these opportunities on the ground.


question_ProjectsTodayWhich are the initiatives taken by both the countries to enhance trade between the two countries?


Answer_ProjectsTodayOne of the important initiatives taken up by India & Canada is the discussions around Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Once CEPA is in place, it is expected to boost India Canada bilateral trade to $15 billion (approx Rs 84,000 crore) which is presently at around $5 billion (approx Rs 28,000 crore). Other agreements under discussion are Social Security Agreement & Cooperation in Surface Transportation.


Regular consultations between India & Canada are happening through Strategic Dialogue, Joint Working Group Trade Policy, Science & Technology Joint Committee, Environment Forum, Energy Forum, Joint Working Group on Agriculture, Steering Committee on Mining, Health Steering Committee etc.


Several chambers of commerce are also playing a lead role in promoting India Canada trade agenda like Indo Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) with offices at New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai & Bangalore, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) & Canada India Business Council (CIBC).


question_ProjectsTodayWhat are the available business opportunities between the two countries?


Answer_ProjectsTodayAviation services sector offers huge opportunities for Indian companies. Many Indian pilots have been trained in Canada. Also, Canada has a strong history in food grain storage. In India we have losses of food grains due to poor storage to the tune of approx 20 million tpa. This can feed eight million Indian for a year. Canadian food grain storage technology of SILOS would solve major grain storage problems of India.


India wants to be green & clean. In both these areas, there are many technologies in Canada which are world leaders. There is a strong need to educate Indian companies on these technologies.


question_ProjectsTodayHow do you think Indian companies can leverage the recently signed MoU on the infrastructure development between the two countries?


Answer_ProjectsTodayThe recent MoU signed between India and Canada will facilitate sharing and exchange of knowledge and technical expertise in the areas of infrastructure development, operation and maintenance of roads, Intelligent Transport System etc. India has shifted focus towards the PPP Mode for undertaking development and upgradation of national highways network across the country as also development of expressways which are going to be access-controlled with all modern construction technology, Information Technology, including Electronic Toll Collection System.


India badly needs Canadian help to implement intelligent transport system. India should seek Canada's help to implement the intelligent transport system in a large scale. Due to this MOU, it is expected that there would be an increase in involvement and participation from Canadian infrastructure industry in India's ambitious National Highways and the Expressways Development Project. India has to travel a long distance before coming up with a full Intelligent Transport System, therefore we need Canadian expertise in these areas which will enable India to achieve the goal through enhanced cooperation, technology transfer and capacity building programs.


As Nagpur is the centre of India, similarly Manitoba is the centre of Canada. A project of great infrastructure importance has come up in Winnipeg called CentrePort. There can be a good partnership between Indian & Canadian companies at CentrePort. CentrePort Canada is a growing inland port located in the heart of North America, offering 20,000-acre of high-quality, affordable industrial land and unique access to tri-modal transportation including three Class 1 railways, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe.


Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CentrePort Canada is the only inland port in Canada to provide business with singlewindow access to FTZ benefits for Indian companies, access to Indian companies to tri-modal transportation and a gateway to key markets in North America & Latin America. CentrePort Canada offers investors from India a wide range of savings, including combined federal and provincial corporate income taxes that are 33 per cent lower than in the United States.


question_ProjectsTodayWhat support do you expect from the government to boost trade ties between the two countries?


Answer_ProjectsTodayOnce Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is signed between India & Canada, it should go a long way in creating a support system for businesses both ways. Both Governments, through their trade councils / chambers of commerce could organise sector specific "solo roadshows" in each others country. Sector strengths with company presence can be demonstrated in these "solo roadshows". The Central Government of India could take initiative to facilitate Pension funds of Canada to come to India in a big way. A handholding support in this area will provide a boost to this sector.



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